I'm a PhD student researching the role of mortuary archaeology in contemporary British society. Think of this as a scrapbook of all the interesting links, snippets of information and random bits and bobs I come across pertaining to death, dying and the dead. Enjoy?!


It’s the coffin to curl up in: Artist designs pebble-shaped resting place because she hates idea of being buried ‘flat on her back’
If you sleep in the foetal position, you might want to be finally laid to rest that way too. 
That’s the thinking behind an artist’s pebble-shaped coffins, made from sculpted birch.
Davina Kemble, 59, was inspired to start the project when she was diagnosed with stomach cancer and started making her own final resting place as a piece of art.

(Source: Daily Mail)

It’s the coffin to curl up in: Artist designs pebble-shaped resting place because she hates idea of being buried ‘flat on her back’
If you sleep in the foetal position, you might want to be finally laid to rest that way too. 
That’s the thinking behind an artist’s pebble-shaped coffins, made from sculpted birch.
Davina Kemble, 59, was inspired to start the project when she was diagnosed with stomach cancer and started making her own final resting place as a piece of art.

(Source: Daily Mail)

It’s the coffin to curl up in: Artist designs pebble-shaped resting place because she hates idea of being buried ‘flat on her back’

If you sleep in the foetal position, you might want to be finally laid to rest that way too. 

That’s the thinking behind an artist’s pebble-shaped coffins, made from sculpted birch.

Davina Kemble, 59, was inspired to start the project when she was diagnosed with stomach cancer and started making her own final resting place as a piece of art.

(Source: Daily Mail)


Dutch artist creates life-size human skull out of COCAINEA Dutch artist has fashioned a human skull out of cocaine by moulding the street-sourced class A drug mixed with gelatin.
The piece, entitled Ecce Animal, is the work of mysterious artist Diddo who says he was commissioned to make the artwork, although is prohibited from disclosing further details.
Diddo says he did not personally test the cocaine but employed a laboratory to analyse the drug bought from a street dealer. 
They found it was between 15 per cent to 20 per cent pure and had been cut with caffeine, paracetamol and sugar.

(Source: Daily Mail)

Dutch artist creates life-size human skull out of COCAINEA Dutch artist has fashioned a human skull out of cocaine by moulding the street-sourced class A drug mixed with gelatin.
The piece, entitled Ecce Animal, is the work of mysterious artist Diddo who says he was commissioned to make the artwork, although is prohibited from disclosing further details.
Diddo says he did not personally test the cocaine but employed a laboratory to analyse the drug bought from a street dealer. 
They found it was between 15 per cent to 20 per cent pure and had been cut with caffeine, paracetamol and sugar.

(Source: Daily Mail)

Dutch artist creates life-size human skull out of COCAINE

A Dutch artist has fashioned a human skull out of cocaine by moulding the street-sourced class A drug mixed with gelatin.

The piece, entitled Ecce Animal, is the work of mysterious artist Diddo who says he was commissioned to make the artwork, although is prohibited from disclosing further details.

Diddo says he did not personally test the cocaine but employed a laboratory to analyse the drug bought from a street dealer. 

They found it was between 15 per cent to 20 per cent pure and had been cut with caffeine, paracetamol and sugar.

(Source: Daily Mail)


Die To Live by Michael Benisty

Coveted New York based Belgian artist, Michael Benisty, introduces “Die To Live,” a breathtaking art and design installation that brings over 700 pounds of mirror-polished stainless steel, sculpted in the shape of a skull and encrusted with 345,798 Golden-Black Swarovski Elements, to be displayed as a spectacular street side exhibit in front of The Catalina Hotel on Collins Avenue, in the heart of South Beach.  The one-of-a-kind 7-foot tall sculpture, produced in partnership with Swarovski and estimated to be valued at more than $150,000, is embedded with a mosaic crystal design known as “Fleur de Lis” and will adorn the face of The Catalina Hotel during Art Basel as one of the most dramatic design installations to-date. Die to live symbolizes the paradox between life and death. The skull represents death but is brought to life by the shimmering of 345,798 Swarovski crystals and it’s mirror-polished stainless steel material. The aim was to build the sculpture big enough to look people right in the eyes, in order to evoke and provoke a discussion of death and we perceive it. It’s beauty, reflecting life, allows the viewer to face this sensitive subject through a deeper perspective. Benisty was already in the process of building the piece while he was shooting Nadja Swarovski for Whitewall magazine. He asked her to look at the skull in development, after which, she fell in love with the project and Die To Live was born. The skull was built in partnership with Shanghai Art Foundry in 2010 and Swarovski completed its crystal design in mid 2011. All together, the design and building process of the sculpture took more than a year, from the clay mold to the stainless steel structure and mirror polishing effect, to its final crystal design application in the shape of a Fleur de Lis design. Die to Live has only been exhibited in the United States and is available at a purchase price of $150,000.  The sculpture will be on display outside the Catalina Hotel.

Love!


Killer looks: The delicate but deadly viruses exquisitely recreated out of blown glass
A stunning collection of blown glass figurines exquisitely capturing some of the most deadly viruses and bacteria known to man have been made so perfectly that some say they’re too frightening to go near.
Seen blown up to one-million times their original size, these crystal-clear, some almost wriggling replicas of HIV, E Coli and Malaria to name just a few show the haunting diseases rarely seen in such beautiful form.
Titled Glass Microbiology, the art work is the product of U.K. artist Luke Jerram who dreamed up the collection with the intent not to entirely frighten spectators but more of send a message of the virus’ global impact.

Read more here!

Killer looks: The delicate but deadly viruses exquisitely recreated out of blown glass
A stunning collection of blown glass figurines exquisitely capturing some of the most deadly viruses and bacteria known to man have been made so perfectly that some say they’re too frightening to go near.
Seen blown up to one-million times their original size, these crystal-clear, some almost wriggling replicas of HIV, E Coli and Malaria to name just a few show the haunting diseases rarely seen in such beautiful form.
Titled Glass Microbiology, the art work is the product of U.K. artist Luke Jerram who dreamed up the collection with the intent not to entirely frighten spectators but more of send a message of the virus’ global impact.

Read more here!

Killer looks: The delicate but deadly viruses exquisitely recreated out of blown glass

A stunning collection of blown glass figurines exquisitely capturing some of the most deadly viruses and bacteria known to man have been made so perfectly that some say they’re too frightening to go near.

Seen blown up to one-million times their original size, these crystal-clear, some almost wriggling replicas of HIV, E Coli and Malaria to name just a few show the haunting diseases rarely seen in such beautiful form.

Titled Glass Microbiology, the art work is the product of U.K. artist Luke Jerram who dreamed up the collection with the intent not to entirely frighten spectators but more of send a message of the virus’ global impact.

Read more here!

Installing the bone chandelier

It’s not often that Wellcome Collection hosts a work as physically imposing as Jodie Carey’s ‘bone chandelier’ In The Eyes of Others which features in Death: A self-portrait. Installing it was a challenge: the timelapse film above, by Ben Gilbert, shows the chandelier being assembled  over the course of a week. Our Exhibitions & Touring Manager Jane Holmes explains how we did it.

The artwork In The Eyes of Others by Jodie Carey weighs 2 tonnes and is 13 and a half feet high. It is actually the smallest of three chandeliers that Jodie has created. Due to the weight and height, we could only situate the artwork in the atrium area of the gallery, which has two existing steel beams that could be used for support. We invited Jodie to see the space before installing the work: she was delighted with it, because she loved the idea of visitors encountering the chandelier unexpectedly, and also of the chandelier entirely inhabiting the space.

After discussing the logistics of the installation with Jodie, the next step was to commission a structural engineer to work out the dimensions of a new structural beam with hook that could be supported off the two existing steel beams, enabling the chandelier to be centred in the space.

The chandelier itself was installed using a block and chain placed over the beam. The central steel frame was put together at ground level and hoisted up to allow each plaster bone to be wired to the frame individually. As the number of bones on the chandelier grew and the framework was filled, the chandelier was hoisted a little higher towards the beam, to allow the artist to install the bones at the next level.

When the chandelier was completely finished, we all watched anxiously as it was transferred from the hook of the tackle to the hook on the steel beam by a technician on a scissor lift. Thankfully the changeover was very smooth and we could all breathe out again!

Death: A Self-portrait runs until 24 February.


WANT!

PALACES is a unique art project by Gina Czarnecki which will create a magical sculpture out of milk teeth donated by the public.

The PALACE will grow over time like a coral reef, to form a fantastical palace-like structure made of thousands of milk teeth donated by children around the UK.

We need your milk teeth in order to create the PALACE!

Visit palaces.org.uk for updates, news and information.

PALACES is a public artwork – as it takes shape, it will be exhibited at arts and science venues across the country,


The Belly of the South: Bumpy reception in seaside town for Hirst’s ‘disgusting’ 65ft pregnant woman
Some call it the Angel of the West; others deride it as the Belly of the South.
But, whether they like it or loathe it, the people of Ilfracombe are now the custodians of this giant Damien Hirst sculpture – and they’ll be looking at it for the next two decades.
The 25-ton bronze statue of a heavily pregnant woman holding a sword, arrived in the Devon seaside resort yesterday on a flatbed trailer.
Hundreds of residents came out to catch their first glimpse of the work, which will take more than a week to assemble and install. 
Fans call it a ‘modern allegory of truth and justice’, but many townsfolk say it is ‘obscene and disgusting’.

Well, I think she is really beautiful - if Ilfracombe don’t want it, I’ll take it! You can read the rest of the article here and if you’re interested in Verity’s fabrication and installation, then you can read about that here!

The Belly of the South: Bumpy reception in seaside town for Hirst’s ‘disgusting’ 65ft pregnant woman
Some call it the Angel of the West; others deride it as the Belly of the South.
But, whether they like it or loathe it, the people of Ilfracombe are now the custodians of this giant Damien Hirst sculpture – and they’ll be looking at it for the next two decades.
The 25-ton bronze statue of a heavily pregnant woman holding a sword, arrived in the Devon seaside resort yesterday on a flatbed trailer.
Hundreds of residents came out to catch their first glimpse of the work, which will take more than a week to assemble and install. 
Fans call it a ‘modern allegory of truth and justice’, but many townsfolk say it is ‘obscene and disgusting’.

Well, I think she is really beautiful - if Ilfracombe don’t want it, I’ll take it! You can read the rest of the article here and if you’re interested in Verity’s fabrication and installation, then you can read about that here!

The Belly of the South: Bumpy reception in seaside town for Hirst’s ‘disgusting’ 65ft pregnant woman

Some call it the Angel of the West; others deride it as the Belly of the South.

But, whether they like it or loathe it, the people of Ilfracombe are now the custodians of this giant Damien Hirst sculpture – and they’ll be looking at it for the next two decades.

The 25-ton bronze statue of a heavily pregnant woman holding a sword, arrived in the Devon seaside resort yesterday on a flatbed trailer.

Hundreds of residents came out to catch their first glimpse of the work, which will take more than a week to assemble and install. 

Fans call it a ‘modern allegory of truth and justice’, but many townsfolk say it is ‘obscene and disgusting’.

Well, I think she is really beautiful - if Ilfracombe don’t want it, I’ll take it! You can read the rest of the article here and if you’re interested in Verity’s fabrication and installation, then you can read about that here!


This life-size glass skeleton is illuminated by krypton
Krypton, being what chemists call a noble gas, glows when it’s housed inside of a gas-discharge lamp. Craft the lamp’s glass into specific letters and you get luminescent signage —like a red, neon “Open” sign. Hand-shape your own glass, however, and you can create something way more interesting than a boring old window sign. Case in point: Embodiment. That’s the name of the arresting sculpture pictured here. Crafted by Portland-based sculptor Eric Franklin, Embodiment took over 1,000 hours to produce. The sculpture stands at 78-inches tall, and actually comprises 10 separate pieces. Each component had to be sculpted individually by flameworking borosilicate glass before being carefully assembled into the full skeleton you see here.

So beautiful. Click through to read the rest of the article and for more STUNNING photographs.

This life-size glass skeleton is illuminated by krypton
Krypton, being what chemists call a noble gas, glows when it’s housed inside of a gas-discharge lamp. Craft the lamp’s glass into specific letters and you get luminescent signage —like a red, neon “Open” sign. Hand-shape your own glass, however, and you can create something way more interesting than a boring old window sign. Case in point: Embodiment. That’s the name of the arresting sculpture pictured here. Crafted by Portland-based sculptor Eric Franklin, Embodiment took over 1,000 hours to produce. The sculpture stands at 78-inches tall, and actually comprises 10 separate pieces. Each component had to be sculpted individually by flameworking borosilicate glass before being carefully assembled into the full skeleton you see here.

So beautiful. Click through to read the rest of the article and for more STUNNING photographs.

This life-size glass skeleton is illuminated by krypton

Krypton, being what chemists call a noble gas, glows when it’s housed inside of a gas-discharge lamp. Craft the lamp’s glass into specific letters and you get luminescent signage —like a red, neon “Open” sign. Hand-shape your own glass, however, and you can create something way more interesting than a boring old window sign. Case in point: Embodiment. That’s the name of the arresting sculpture pictured here. Crafted by Portland-based sculptor Eric Franklin, Embodiment took over 1,000 hours to produce. The sculpture stands at 78-inches tall, and actually comprises 10 separate pieces. Each component had to be sculpted individually by flameworking borosilicate glass before being carefully assembled into the full skeleton you see here.

So beautiful. Click through to read the rest of the article and for more STUNNING photographs.

Transcending the Material 
By Ben Cuevas
Mixed media 
Exhibited at the Wassaic Project Summer Music and Arts Festival in New York
Click the photo to see more knitted skelly goodness!
Transcending the Material 
By Ben Cuevas
Mixed media 
Exhibited at the Wassaic Project Summer Music and Arts Festival in New York
Click the photo to see more knitted skelly goodness!

Transcending the Material

By Ben Cuevas

Mixed media 

Exhibited at the Wassaic Project Summer Music and Arts Festival in New York

Click the photo to see more knitted skelly goodness!




The thought-provoking ‘tooth fairy palace’
In the chilly studio of  Liverpool-based artist Gina Czarnecki, a fantasy palace has taken shape.
It is a riot of towers and tendrils, resembling something out of Harry Potter  or Lord of the Rings.
It has been christened the Tooth Fairy Palace, but like many fairy tales, all  is not as it seems as it has been designed to raise awareness about stem cell  research and its implications.
The palace will gradually become encrusted with real teeth - the teeth of  children.

Amazing! Click the photo to read the rest of the article.

The thought-provoking ‘tooth fairy palace’
In the chilly studio of  Liverpool-based artist Gina Czarnecki, a fantasy palace has taken shape.
It is a riot of towers and tendrils, resembling something out of Harry Potter  or Lord of the Rings.
It has been christened the Tooth Fairy Palace, but like many fairy tales, all  is not as it seems as it has been designed to raise awareness about stem cell  research and its implications.
The palace will gradually become encrusted with real teeth - the teeth of  children.

Amazing! Click the photo to read the rest of the article.

The thought-provoking ‘tooth fairy palace’

In the chilly studio of Liverpool-based artist Gina Czarnecki, a fantasy palace has taken shape.

It is a riot of towers and tendrils, resembling something out of Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings.

It has been christened the Tooth Fairy Palace, but like many fairy tales, all is not as it seems as it has been designed to raise awareness about stem cell research and its implications.

The palace will gradually become encrusted with real teeth - the teeth of children.

Amazing! Click the photo to read the rest of the article.

Sculpting skulls out of…fruit and veg?! 

These skull-ful creations are turning heads across the globe.
Russian artist Dimitri Tsykalov uses an axe, saw and electrical drill to carve human skulls out of fresh fruit and vegetables.
The 48-year-old then uses a scalpel, pincers and cotton wool pads to add and smooth remarkable detail with ‘surgical precision’.

Dimitiri - who has carved skulls into an apple, melon, cabbage and aubergine - waits for his sculptures to rot and then photographs them.
He said: ‘I enjoy working with my hands and prefer using meat, vegetables and fruits instead of marble, clay and wood.

'I carefully choose my materials on the basis of size, solidity and colour. They can't be too ripe but not too hard either.
'The sculpting is a delicate and meticulous process that requires surgical precision.'

Dimitiri, from Moscow, added: ‘I use an electric drill, saw, axe, kitchen knives, spoons, scalpel, pincers and cotton wool pads.
'Once I have finished carving, I let oxidation do its work - leaving the sculpted piece of fruit to ripen in my studio over a few days.
'The flies let me know when it's ready and time to take a picture.'



Click the photo to see more amazing images!
Sculpting skulls out of…fruit and veg?! 

These skull-ful creations are turning heads across the globe.
Russian artist Dimitri Tsykalov uses an axe, saw and electrical drill to carve human skulls out of fresh fruit and vegetables.
The 48-year-old then uses a scalpel, pincers and cotton wool pads to add and smooth remarkable detail with ‘surgical precision’.

Dimitiri - who has carved skulls into an apple, melon, cabbage and aubergine - waits for his sculptures to rot and then photographs them.
He said: ‘I enjoy working with my hands and prefer using meat, vegetables and fruits instead of marble, clay and wood.

'I carefully choose my materials on the basis of size, solidity and colour. They can't be too ripe but not too hard either.
'The sculpting is a delicate and meticulous process that requires surgical precision.'

Dimitiri, from Moscow, added: ‘I use an electric drill, saw, axe, kitchen knives, spoons, scalpel, pincers and cotton wool pads.
'Once I have finished carving, I let oxidation do its work - leaving the sculpted piece of fruit to ripen in my studio over a few days.
'The flies let me know when it's ready and time to take a picture.'



Click the photo to see more amazing images!

Sculpting skulls out of…fruit and veg?!

These skull-ful creations are turning heads across the globe.

Russian artist Dimitri Tsykalov uses an axe, saw and electrical drill to carve human skulls out of fresh fruit and vegetables.

The 48-year-old then uses a scalpel, pincers and cotton wool pads to add and smooth remarkable detail with ‘surgical precision’.

Dimitiri - who has carved skulls into an apple, melon, cabbage and aubergine - waits for his sculptures to rot and then photographs them.

He said: ‘I enjoy working with my hands and prefer using meat, vegetables and fruits instead of marble, clay and wood.

'I carefully choose my materials on the basis of size, solidity and colour. They can't be too ripe but not too hard either.

'The sculpting is a delicate and meticulous process that requires surgical precision.'

Dimitiri, from Moscow, added: ‘I use an electric drill, saw, axe, kitchen knives, spoons, scalpel, pincers and cotton wool pads.

'Once I have finished carving, I let oxidation do its work - leaving the sculpted piece of fruit to ripen in my studio over a few days.

'The flies let me know when it's ready and time to take a picture.'

Click the photo to see more amazing images!